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Taj Mahal, Agra Tour PackageAgra Sitting on the western bank of the River Yamuna, is just over 200 kms from Delhi. - Hold your breath, for hiding behind the heat and the chaos is the stunning monument of cool white marble, the wonder that is called the Taj Mahal .

In Agra layers of history are peeled away to reveal an amazing tapestry of life - of wars waged, of great architectural magnificence and above all a testimony of the undying love of a king for his queen.The earliest recorded history of Agra, however, is its establishment by a local king in 1475. It grew into an important power centre under the Delhi Sultan Sikandar Lodi, who shifted his capital from Delhi in 1504. Agra attained full glory in the Mughal period, from the time Babur captured it in 1526. Babur's son, the Emperor Akbar, who was a great empire builder commissioned the Agra Fort in 1565 and the city grew around the nucleus of the fort.

Agra is best known for the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the modern World. Emperor Shah Jahan built this exquisite white marble mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz Mahal. Declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, the Taj Mahal has always evoked varying emotions from wonder to ecstasy and often times, inspired poetic verse.

The monument was commissioned in 1631 and took 20,000 artisans, 22 years to complete. An entire township now known as Taj Ganj came up around the site. Here, craftsmen live and sell their wares of marble and stone inlay and replicas of the Taj. After the reign of the last great Mughal, Aurangzeb, Agra fell into the hands of the Jats and then the Marathas. In 1803, the British under General Lake captured the city. Once again, it secured its position of eminence as the capital of the north-western provinces.

Travel a little outside Agra and you'll come to Fatehpur Sikri, a site for monuments that are historically as important as the Taj Mahal. Every tour guide who does Agra ensures that Fatehpur Sikri is also visited. There development in architectural style from Akbar's Sikri to Shah Jahan's Agra is important, and only if you see the monuments at both will you have begun to explore Mughal architecture. Fatehpur Sikri's sights include monuments from the times of Akbar: the Buland Darwaza and the Dargah of Salim Chishti.

The first time you travel to Agra, the city can be a bit overwhelming with its noise and big crowds. There are government run and private tourist information centres galore and you should take advantage of them. Most of them offer tour guide services, which is useful if you're stuck in a chaotic Indian city, particularly if you're low on knowledge about its premier attraction. There are also nearly as many touts as tourists! Beware of them and stay with registered guides. However, no matter how many times you've done Agra and the Taj Mahal, their attraction never fades. If you're an old Agra hand of course, you'll be quite at home in this crazy bustling town.

How to get there ? Agra is well connected by Road from Delhi , Jhansi, Gwalior, Jaipur and you can catch train from all metropolitan cities. ripples on the surface. Delhi - here you can feel the pulse of India beating to the rhythm of rapidly changing times.